What's She Doing?
News about women in the Triangle

By Megan Pinkston


Dr. Etta Pisano, UNC-Chapel Hill scientist and professor, received the Women in Science award from the American Medical Women’s Association for her contributions to early breast-cancer detection. Pisano is co-leader of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s breast program.

Wake Technical Community College named Sherry Moss Mitchell of Garner director of its communications and marketing department.

Janice Russell, of Minding Your Matters Organizing Consultants in Cary, served on the entrepreneurship panel during Duke University’s Career Week.


Lauren Van Hemert’s Ephemera Collection of jewelry was featured on the Home and Garden Television show “Crafter’s Coast to Coast.” The Raleigh designer was a finalist for the 2005 Niche Award for excellence in American craft.

The Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission sponsored a show by Evelyn Morris Hecht, “The Integrity of the Drawing…The Integrity of the Dog,” at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Dr. Evelyn Daniel hosted an informal discussion of Ian McEwan’s novel, “Atonement,” for the Deep Dish Theater Company in Chapel Hill. Daniel teaches in the School of Information and Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Pollstar Magazine ranked Raleigh’s Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek 12th among U.S. amphitheatres for tickets sold.


Poyner & Spruill law firm announced that Deborah E. Sperati, an associate in the Rocky Mount office, was elected to serve on the board of directors for the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce. Also, Terri L. Gardner of the Raleigh office was recertified in business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification.

Jennifer Varner of Cary launched www.bellablumaternity.com, an online boutique. Varner donates clothing and accessories for auction at local women’s shelter events, as well as a portion of the firm’s profits to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

McKinney-Silver, a Durham-based advertising agency, promoted Stephanie Sumner to vice president and director of new business and Cathy Jenkins Wilson to vice president and senior broadcast producer.

A Sweet Reminder gourmet-cookie company is expanding its operations to Hickory. Cindy Sheats founded the company in her Raleigh home two years ago.

Yvonne G.G. Howell joined SEPI Engineering Group in Raleigh as project manager of the environmental division.

Renee Rodgers of Raleigh, owner of From Beginning to End bridal boutique, hosted “Wedding Spotlight” with bridal consultant and author Linnyette Richardson-Hall.

Lois Stephenson, president of Building Blocks Child Care & Development Center in Clayton, is a national finalist for the 2005 Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Allison Davis joined MMI Associates, a Raleigh marketing and public-relations firm, as an account executive.

Elizabeth Carrasco, owner of VIP Designs in Raleigh, recently provided her services to the winner of “Total Room Makeover.” Leigh Correll, owner of Wrapped Up Gifts, is a sponsor of the contest.

Carrboro clothing shop Mehera Shaw debuted its “True Femininity” spring collection, which features cotton voile and floral prints. Shari Keller, the store’s owner and designer, incorporated bright colors, textures and hand-blocked prints into the collection.

Pam Mack and Lashena Washington launched Spyce, which sells women’s accessories, many made by local artists, through trunk shows, an online boutique and at events throughout the Triangle.

First Citizens Bank announced:
• Michelle Rich, owner of Rich Commercial Realty, was named to its Raleigh board of directors.
• Peg Powers was elected senior vice president for the Raleigh headquarters.
• Jacqueline Priddy was promoted to financial-services officer of the Apex branch.


Dr. Kim R. Melton opened a dental practice, Heritage Aesthetic Dentistry, in Wake Forest.

Lynne Dubuque and Jane Tarry, of Blue Water Spa and of Michael Law MD Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, donated spa treatments for auction at the Greater Raleigh Heart Gala and the Red Cross Charity Ball.

Durham-based Argos Therapeutics received a $1 million grant from the Alliance for Lupus Research to support antibody research.

Kim Kendrick recently joined Atlantic Diagnostic Center in Durham as the provider relations manager and is working on marketing strategies for the center’s sister facility, Urgent Care of Durham.

Jane Riley of Designing Bodies in Raleigh was a featured speaker for the Trendsetters Professional Women’s seminar at the Capital City Club.

Author and life coach Ana Tampanna developed a women’s cruise retreat, which is set to sail in November. The getaway includes wellness workshops with yoga instructor Valerie Kiser and self-care coach Jackie Stanley.

Real Estate

Amanda Currin of Zebulon was named managing broker in charge of the RE/MAX UNITED Knightdale office.

Mary D. Jacobs joined the Triangle Southpoint office of Realty Executives.

Diane M. Caraway of Prudential Carolinas Realty’s North Raleigh office completed a course for residential real-estate specialists.

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston announced:
• Pat Mills was named sales manager for the Heritage Wake Forest development.
• Gaye Burwell, senior sales manager, received the National Association of Home Builders’ Bill Molster Award.
• Sharon Andrews and Suzannah Higby earned Certified Marketing Professional designations from the National Association of Home Builders’ Institute of Residential Marketing.

York Simpson Underwood Realty announced:
• Judy Weinstock of the Chapel Hill office, as well as Barbara Sannes and Barbara Dzamba of the Cary office, were awarded Accredited Buyer Representation designations by the National Association of Realtors.
• Connie Floyd and Annamaria Papp of the Cary office received their broker’s licenses.
• Kathryn West of the North Hills office in Raleigh completed a course for residential real-estate specialists.


Sepi Asefnia, president of SEPI Engineering Group in Raleigh, and Judy Fourie, president of J. Fourie & Company in Cary, joined the Triangle chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization.

Wendy Coulter, president of Hummingbird Creative Group in Raleigh, was elected to the planning committee for the Financial Strategies for Savvy Women program and the Capital City Club’s membership council.

Sandra Thompson, marketing manager for IBM, was inaugurated as president of the National Black MBA Association, RDU chapter.

Sheila Hale Ogle, CEO of MRPP, a media agency in Cary, was named a “Business Star in Diversity” by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Ogle also is a featured speaker at this month’s meeting of the Women Business Owners Network of Cary.

Shannon Powell, president of Active Ergonomics, spoke to 300 women about health issues and ergonomics on Women’s Enrichment Day in Raleigh. Powell also was elected to the Financial Strategies for Savvy Women program’s planning committee.

Sigma Xi, an international scientific research society based in RTP, appointed Laura J. Nigro director of membership and chapter programs.

Valerie Fields, CEO of Raleigh public-relations firm V.K. Fields & Co., was appointed to the Southeast Raleigh Weed and Seed Advisory Board’s steering committee. Fields also launched the spring semester of the Millionaires in Training youth entrepreneurial-training program.

ReTails, a thrift shop supporting AnimalKind, a Raleigh-based nonprofit with the mission to eliminate euthanasia and subsidize spay/neuter programs for low-income families, recently opened.